Females involved in the criminal justice system come with a unique set of other needs. In assessing this, there has been edits and additions created within the types of programing available for these women. More recently there has been a group created as an intensive program specifically for women who are involved in the CJ system that engage in violent behavior. It is a gender responsive program that address the needs and real-life issues of women under community supervision. The program is based on cognitive behavior theory and research from evidence-based treatment models: Relational Theory, Trauma Informed, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavior Intervention. Each female who comes through the AIC, Alternative In the Community, are screened to assess for the need to participate in this group. The group meets twice a week for 2 hours each session and runs consecutively for 20 sessions. It is a closed group after the 3rd session. The main intention is to assist identified high risk women with a history of violence, emotional dysregulation and history of conflict in relationships. It is done over a period of time utilizing 6 different modules that touch upon the following areas:

    • Module 1: Understanding Violence focuses on defining safety, defining violence, exploring causes and motivation for using violence.
    • Module 2: Building Healthy Relationships: focuses on defining the qualities of a healthy relationship, exploring the warning signs of an unhealthy relationship, identifying the consequences of an unhealthy relationship, identifying and addressing the barriers to leaving an unhealthy relationship.
    • Module 3: Recognize and Regulate: focuses on building awareness of body sensations, feelings, thoughts and the connection with behavior. Participants also learn to recognize external triggers and label emotions as well as rate emotional intensity. Participants learn a variety of mindfulness strategies to achieve regulation as well as learn a variety of calming strategies.
    • Module 4 Resolve: Participants explore and practice using a four-step model to clarify problems and generate options.
    • Module 5 Reach Out: focuses on exploring boundaries, power and balance in relationships. Participants learn to express wants and needs respectfully and practice strategies to deal with conflict while developing social awareness through social action initiatives.
    • Module 6 Review: session focusses on reviewing and practicing strategies to enhance the Living Safely Plan as well as celebrate achievements and successes.

The following tool is utilized to screen the women that are referred:


The following criteria should be followed when determining placement into Living Safely Without Violence.

  • Administer the ANGER/HOSTILITY SCREEN: Anger/Hostility Screen questions must be asked directly of the client in an interview format.

If the client answers ‘Yes’ to 4 or more questions in the Anger/Hostility Screen, that would indicate the client may be an appropriate referral to Living Safely Without Violence versus Moving On. In addition to administering the Anger/Hostility Screen, the following should also be considered when determining which intervention is most appropriate.

  • LSWV Eligibility Criteria :
  • Moderate to High Risk females on a standardized risk/need assessment (WRNA, LSI-R, DVSI-R).
  • Females with a history of violent behavior
  • Females with emotional dysregulation
  • Females with a history of conflict in relationships
  • Client’s alcohol/drug and mental health issues are not interrupting daily functioning. (Clients with severe substance abuse or mental health issues should attend alternative interventions prior to or concurrently with LSWV).
  • Cognitive abilities – client must be able to perform and understand at a 6th grade level
  • Information received from the referral source and information reported from the client. Ex. criminal history, past experiences.
  • All cases should be reviewed on a case by case situation. Example: If a client answers ‘Yes’ to 3 questions (vs. 4) on the Anger/Hostility Screen but other pertinent information is received from the referral source, then she can be enrolled in the LSWV group.




1 Would you describe yourself as having a strong temper? (0) (1)
2 Do you have trouble controlling your temper when you get upset? (0) (1)
3 Were you angry or upset when you committed the present offense? (0) (1)
4 Within the past 3 years, have you ever hit/hurt anyone, including family members, when you were upset (exclude self-defense)? (0) (1)
5 Have these events ever resulted in involvement with child and family services or law enforcement? (0) (1)
6 Have any of these experiences occurred within the past 6 months (exclude self-defense)? (0) (1)
7 Within the past 6 months have you had any times when you think you got too aggressive

when something made you angry?

(0) (1)

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